A new system to the east of the Peavine Trail offers a protected hike and an added challenge

By Amanda Lane

The new Storm Ranch Trails breathe fresh life into the dells! The Peavine, a Rails-to-Trails trail that begins off Sundog Ranch Road near the Humane Society and runs north to Highway 89A, is perhaps one of the most well-known hiking paths in Prescott.

It’s flat, wide, and well groomed, which makes for a rather mellow adventure with scenic views. Now, thanks to the Over The Hill Gang, there are several trials that splinter off into Storm Ranch country to the east of the Peavine, adding a ton of spice.

The Storm Ranch system of trails is very well designed, incorporating flowing turns, gradual climbs, and the white dots to guide hikers over the top of the boulders as they explore this new area inside the dells.

I hiked a little over 5 miles round trip from the Peavine trailhead and covered most of the finished Storm Ranch Trails. About a mile and a half from the parking lot, a small red gate on the right side of the Peavine marks the beginning of the Easter Island Trail. This trail winds its way back to Boulder Creek and to the Quartz Canyon Loop, a short trail covered with an abundance of white quartz rock.

Heading north from there, the Northwest Passage flows in, out, and around beautiful granite boulders, offering amazing views and even hidden pockets of water before hooking back up with the Peavine. The trail is shaded and protected, shielding hikers from wind and sun.

The trails in this area run across and alongside Boulder Creek in several places. I can’t wait to go back after a little rain and see how beautiful the creek is when it flows. There is more to come in the Storm Ranch Trails system, as not all of the trails are complete.

This system provides a little change and an added challenge to the Peavine, which many locals consider a staple. A change of pace is always welcome and this addition is one everyone should enjoy. Remember, this access is a gift; stay on the trails and respect the private property boundaries.